Governments around the world have shut down services to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, demand for clean water and health education from Living Waters for the World (LWW) water sites has sharply increased. Fortunately, partners like those in Monte Redondo, Honduras, have stepped up to meet the needs of their community.
In December 2019, the village of Monte Redondo partnered with an LWW volunteer team from Honduras to install a water purification system and health education program. They installed the system, which can purify 300 gallons per batch, to treat the community's contaminated water making it safe to drink. They implemented health education to teach hand-washing and the important uses of clean water. Together both have saved lives.
When the water purification system opened in December, they served an average of 600 gallons per week. Little did they know that three months later, their community's need would more than double.
The Monte Redondo partnership was part of LWW's Hondurans Helping Hondurans program. Members of LWW's Honduran staff led the project, training the community members to install and maintain their water system and health education program. Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa, and local NGO Amor y Esperanza provided financial support. Honduras In-Country Technician Alex Rodas said, “From signing the covenant with Hondurans Helping Hondurans to installation took a little less than four months. The community raised the money to build the building ... two men and two women are serving as operators. The educators, the water board, and operators are all really concerned about the health of the community.”
When the water purification system opened in December, they served an average of 600 gallons per week. Little did they know that three months later, their community's need would more than double. The reason: coronavirus.
On March 15, 2020, Honduras closed its borders and instituted a curfew to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This move also prohibited the providers of commercially bottled water from delivering to rural areas like Monte Redondo. LWW’s Honduras network moderator Kasey Potzler said the people in Monte Redondo who typically bought commercially bottled water, “already knew the importance of clean water, so they turned to their Living Waters for the World system.”
Monte Redondo's water team is working hard to meet the needs of its community for the duration of this health crisis. Living Waters for the World is exploring licensing to enable the four Honduran staff members to travel to Monte Redondo and other sites with supplies before they run out. The Honduras network moderating team is also keeping lines of communication open, listening for other ideas from water partners. Kasey said, “We know that Hondurans are incredibly capable and can come up with things we might not think about.”
Today, the people in Monte Redondo, Honduras, have the clean water and hand-washing knowledge critical for sustaining and protecting life. Olvin Duron, Honduras In-Country Technician, said, “Thanks to God that LWW systems are a blessing, helping the communities with pure water in this time of hardship.” Please pray for these faithful partners and all our Honduran brothers and sisters.
Living Waters for the World (LWW) is a nonprofit that trains volunteers to build partnerships teaching the installation and maintenance of water purification systems and health education programs. Most LWW water purification systems are located outside of the United States in community settings such as civic centers, orphanages, and churches. Volunteers have also partnered with homeowners in rural Appalachia to install home-based systems.